After being inspired by an interaction with a homeless individual, the Shojis decided to take action in order to make life easier for those in the homeless community.
While it's easy for the privileged few in our country to believe that the homeless simply need to "pull themselves up by the bootstraps" and get a job to support themselves, the systemic and institutionalized ways that our government condones poverty make it rather difficult. The very simple act of even feeling clean, for example, can become a monumental task for those who don't have access to a bathroom or shower supplies. Sometimes, homeless shelters are full while others may charge an unaffordable fee. With this pervasive issue in mind, power couple Craig and Danica Shoji set out on a mission to help all homeless people feel "normal" through the seemingly small but incredibly impactful act of having a shower. By building mobile showers, they are able to help hundreds of homeless individuals, reports Good Morning America.
The Shojis wanted to make Honolulu's homeless community "feel like humans again," according to GMA. Craig first came up with the groundbreaking idea when he had a curious encounter with a homeless individual. In June 2015, the couple visited an underprivileged community in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood where the incident took place. Craig explained, "I was walking down the street and there was a houseless individual there. I just told him, 'Good morning,' and he was kind of surprised that I said that to him because no one ever says anything to him." That was when he and Danica decided to fulfill their higher purpose in life and remind everyone exactly how important it is to "just treat people like normal people."
That's when they came up with their initiative Laundry Love, through which they were able to provide fresh, clean clothes to the homeless community in their area and beyond. Laundry Love eventually evolved into Revive + Refresh, a company driven by the belief that "everyone has a story," no matter their walk of life. Through Revive + Refresh, the Shoji family has been able to provide more than 250 people access to clean and hygienic spaces to shower—their mobile bathrooms—in addition to hot meals and shower supplies such as soap and hand gel.
The couple takes their trailer, equipped with two showers, to events in and around Honolulu. So far, more than 460 people have attended their events whereas more than 250 people have used their facilities to take a nice, warm shower. Each guest gets about 15 minutes in the shower and each "stall" is fully stocked with toilet paper, shower gel, and hand gel. Following their shower, homeless individuals can also chow down on a delicious hot meal, something they may not have otherwise had access to on a regular basis. When asked about what the best part of their initiative is, Craig responded, "Just to see their faces when they come out, it's like a different person." It's amazing what a simple shower and a hot meal can do to uplift someone's spirits, boost their confidence, and rekindle their motivation to keep fighting the good fight.